The Morrison Government’s plan for a stronger economy is guaranteeing essential education services through the delivery of yet another year of record funding for child care, preschools, schools and universities.

In this year’s Budget, a record $21.4 billion will be provided for state schools, Catholic schools and Independent schools for the 2020 school year – an increase in funding of $8.5 billion since 2013.

The 2019-20 Budget provides a record $8.6 billion for child care, including $8.3 billion for the Child Care Subsidy and $17.7 billion for the university sector.

The Government is ensuring this record funding delivers a quality education from early learning through to tertiary studies.

The Government will establish a Local School Community Fund, which will provide $200,000 to each federal electorate to support priority projects in local schools that benefit students and their communities.

The Government will continue to fund universal access to 15 hours of preschool in the year before school by providing $453.1 million to guarantee funding through to the end of the 2020 school year and to undertake the related National Early Childhood Education and Care Collection.

Preschool participation remains low, particularly in disadvantaged communities where children benefit most from early learning.

The Government will provide $1.4 million over two years from 2019-20 for The Smith Family to work with state and territory governments to develop strategies on how to further lift preschool participation rates, particularly for families in regional and remote communities, including Indigenous families.

Minister for Education Dan Tehan said our Government understood the importance of Australians receiving a quality education and the importance of being able to pay for it.

“The Morrison Government’s economic management has delivered a stronger economy which means we can afford to invest in education,” Mr Tehan said.

“We also understand that record investment must be matched by a plan that ensures that money leads to improvements for all Australian students and their families, that is why we will conduct a national preschool review through Education Council and introduced the Gonski reforms.

“Our reforms to child care via the Child Care Subsidy have already led to out-of-pocket child care costs for families falling by more than 10 per cent. Our National School Reform Agreement binds the Federal Government and every state and territory to a series of reforms that will improve education across Australia.

“The Morrison Government also believes that no matter where they grow up, all Australians should have access to quality education. That is why we are targeting investments in regional, rural and remote Australia – from the Destination Australia program that encourages more higher education students to study outside of the capital cities to genuine needs-based funding for every student in every school.”

Early learning and child care

  • $449.5 million over two years from 2019-20 to extend the National Partnership on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education, ensuring every child can participate in 600 hours of quality preschool in the year before school.
  • $4.9 million over two years from 2019-20 to improve the preschool data that is available nationally and to fund The Smith Family to work with state and territory governments and disadvantaged communities on strategies to improve preschool participation rates.
  • $4.0 million in 2019-20 for enhancements to the new Child Care Subsidy System (CCSS) and the Inclusion Support Portal.

Schools

  • $30.2 million in 2019-20 to establish the Local School Community Fund to support priority projects in local schools that benefit students and their communities.
  • $9.5 million over four years from 2019-20 to establish new online courses and resources for the teaching of mathematics and phonics.
  • $4.0 million in 2018-19 to assist schools impacted by the recent flooding in North Queensland.
  • $5.0 million over three years from 2019-20 for Life Education Australia to develop a new range of free training resources to help teachers support the social and emotional needs of students.
  • $5.7 million over five years from 2018-19 to fund the delivery of arts programs through Music Australia, The Song Room, a mobile music education program and Bell Shakespeare.
  • $2.0 million over two years from 2019-20 to increase the public’s understanding of Australia’s democracy and political system by supporting the next stage of development of the Australian Constitution Centre at the High Court of Australia in Canberra.

Higher education

  • $93.7 million for the new Destination Australia program. This program will provide up to 4,720 scholarships of up to $15,000 per year for domestic and international students to study at a regional university or vocational education provider. This will ensure the entire country can experience the benefits of Australia’s $35 billion international tertiary education sector.
  • $71.6 million to improve outcomes for very remote students by encouraging teachers to teach and stay longer in their schools through remitting the HELP debt incurred for recognised teaching qualifications of an estimated 3,100 graduate students who teach for a minimum of four years in very remote schools.
  • $15.8 million to help the Government better understand and support students across tertiary education by extending the Unique Student Identifier from VET to all higher education students.
  • $2.5 million to give students access to all of their higher education qualifications in a centralised digital tertiary learning repository. This initiative will be expanded over time to include VET qualifications and be linked to other portals.
  • Increase the HELP loan limit to $150,000 for students studying aviation courses under VET Student Loan arrangements to address concerns about a skills shortage.